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How much do I need to know about what past States have done?

For your election campaign:- quite a lot about what the States immediately before you has done, almost nothing about earlier States.

To be effective once you’re elected:- dive deeper. The more you know, the better equipped you are. I’m hoping to give you the tools to do that in Part Two. But let’s concentrate on the Election for now.

The reason why you need to know a fair bit about what the States before you has done (or failed to do), is because that’s what the public will think about first when they’re asking about your plans for this term. They’ll want to know what you’re planning to continue, or what you’re planning to undo; or if you’re going to pick up the baton on something this States has failed to progress.

Luckily, it’s easy enough to build up a picture of what people will be concerned about. Most local news organisations – Bailiwick Express, Island FM, BBC Guernsey, ITV, Guernsey Press (let me know if I’ve missed any!) – have online archives of local news. Skim back through them, and remind yourself of the headlines and issues you might have forgotten.

I recommend using the media at this stage because that is what most voters will use – not (necessarily) because it is accurate. That’s an important distinction to bear in mind!

Most people are politically interested, but not so interested that they will actually follow what’s happening in the States – so they rely on the local media to let them know what’s happening here. That’s why reminding yourself of the headlines is helpful – because it will clue you in to what your voters are likely to be worrying about.

But – especially on topics you have a personal interest in, and want to speak confidently on – it helps to be able to refer back to what the States has actually done. This means you’re going to need to learn your way around the States website. The two most useful sections will be the News pages (available in the menu bar at the top) and the record of States debates (available under Government > States Meeting Information).

But here’s a tip, before you get too frustrated with the hopeless search function on Gov.GG. If I don’t know where to find what I’m looking for, I use a regular search engine. I will put in something like “” or “States of Guernsey” (or “Billet”, if I’m sure it was a States debate) to narrow it down, and then search for what I want to know.

For example, to look for more information about Guernsey’s Equality legislation, I typed in “” and “equality” to Google. The first four pages that came up were the general page on Equality, the general page on Discrimination, the details of the Discrimination Law consultation, and the Policy Priority page for the Disability, Equality and Inclusion work. Not perfect, but pretty relevant. But try searching for “equality” on Gov.GG itself, and you get a far more scattered bunch of results…!

If you’re a first-timer, no one is expecting you to know everything the last States has done. But it helps to have a general idea, because it gives you a sense of the kind of questions you’ll be asked, and it helps to prepare you for what’s going to be on your agenda in the early part of the new term.

Go back to Getting Into Guernsey Politics
Go back to Section 1.2: Getting Elected
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Guernsey’s iconic women of the future?

Thank you for nominating a young woman or girl for our future iconic Guernsey women campaign to celebrate International Women’s Day!

Nominations close on Sunday 6 March at 17.00.

Please fill in the details below.


Miriam Makeba - South Africa

Nominated by: Christine James

Zenzile Miriam Makeba (1932 to 2008), nicknamed Mama Africa, was a South African singer, songwriter, actress, United Nations goodwill ambassador, and civil rights activist. Associated with musical genres including Afropop, jazz, and world music, she was an advocate against apartheid and white-minority government in South Africa. In 2020 she was named one of Time magazine’s 100 women of the century. 

South Africa is ranked 12th in the world for percentage of women in national parliament: 45.8% (source: 

Are you from South Africa? Please email if there is a social or cultural group for people from South Africa in Guernsey.

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The original image “The Hague Jazz 2008 – Miriam Makeba” by Haags Uitburo is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0. 


Jacinda Ardern - New Zealand

Nominated by: Martin Lock

Jacinda Ardern (born 1980) has served as prime minister of New Zealand and leader of the Labour Party since 2017. In 2019, she led the country through the aftermath of the Christchurch mosque shootings, rapidly introducing strict gun laws in response, and throughout 2020 she directed the country’s widely praised response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Ardern was the world’s second elected head of government to give birth in office when her daughter was born in 2018. ‘An inspiring Prime Minister who brought a nation together with true leadership, empathy and compassion.’

New Zealand is ranked 4th in the world for percentage of women in national parliament: 48.3% (source: 

Other iconic women: Dame Whina Cooper, nominated by Claire Fisher, and Kate Sheppard, nominated by Anna Cooper.

Are you from New Zealand? You may be interested in joining the ANZACs in Guernsey Facebook group

Want to learn more about public office vacancies in Guernsey? 

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